Just 10 years ago, Farkasova was in need of a guide. She previously had a male guide, but she was ready to work with a female.
Thanks to the skiing community in Slovakia, Farkasova was put in touch with Subrtova. Subrtova, still studying at the university at the time, was approached by a former coach about the opportunity to be a guide.
Despite her studies, Subrtova was tempted to take the opportunity because she already knew what to expect from a friend who served as a guide.
“I pretty much knew the job,” she said. “I was thinking about it, and then, of course, I agreed.”
Soon after, the pair tested their relationship and skiing abilities in a so-called “ski-session.”
The session went well, but there was still one obstacle in the way: the communication.
Unlike today’s vision impaired skiers and their guides, the Slovakian ski team did not have Bluetooth headsets between the two skiers. Instead, they were forced to rely on hand signals — as Subrtova calls it, “a very basic thing.”
But, Subrtova, knowing Farkasova’s strengths, pushed for her team to get intercoms, realising their potential. For the 2009/10 season, Farkasova and Subrtova became the first skiers on the Slovakian team using the upgraded technology.
“Our teammates were quite hesitant to get ones, because they thought it was going to ruin their (momentum),” said Subrtova.
Sure enough, the new technology was in prime shape for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, and it is destined to prove successful in PyeongChang.
“Once we started to use intercoms, the communication improved a lot, and so did the skiing,” Subrtova said. “You could really see the improvement there.”
Adding, that the intercom has led to “talking all the time and then she’s just listening.”